DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE of…EDM

Here goes my second attempt at making my blog series ‘Down the rabbit role’ an actual series rather than a one-off episode. So after what probably seems like years since I posted ‘Down the rabbit hole of…indie‘, I am finally ready to share a compilation of my favourite EDM songs. The songs that I have included in this playlist will hopefully make you want to dance, cry, get hyped, bang your head in anger/rage and pause and reflect on life. Basically a song for every emotion from the best superstar DJs, masked DJs, faceless DJs, dubstep pioneers and masters of house and garage.

Take a deep breath and here goes:

Please feel free to share the songs that you think deserve a spot on this playlist as I’m sure there are many more that I have missed and completely forgotten about !!! 🙂

Muslim Women’s Day ’19

As we enter into the new month of April, I thought it would be fitting to talk about Muslim Women’s Day, which rounded off the end of March (27/03/19). Already in it’s third year, this special day was formed by the brilliant minds behind the website, muslimgirl.com.

Even though it has been over week since Muslim Women’s Day, I really wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate some of the inspirational women that are achieving great things on social media.

Aysha Harun (Beauty & Life-style vlogger)          aysha abdul

YouTube Channel: Aysha Harun

Instagram: @AyshaHarun

Twitter: @Aysha Harun

Location: Toronto (Canada)

Words used to describe her: Authentic, bright, cheerful, honest, funny, no-nonsense, sweet.

Things to check out on her YouTube channel: Her cooking videos feature some tasty and mouth-watering recipes. e.g. peri-peri chicken and summer salad.

 

Nafisa’s Pearlz (Islam & Lifestyle vlogger) nafisa pearlz

YouTube Channel: Nafisa’s Pearlz

Instagram: @nafisaspearlz

Website: https://nafisatuakilu.com

Location: London (United Kingdom)

Words used to describe her: Respectful, informative, honest, mature, genuine, positive

Things to check out on her YouTube channel: She offers great tips on how to perform certain acts of worship e.g. prayer/recitation of the Qur’an. Plus she knows how to use the right tone when talking about sensitive and difficult subjects.

Amina Yonis (Educational, Travel and Life-style vlogger) amina yonis

YouTube Channel: I Am In A Place

Instagram: @draminayonis

Twitter: @IamInAPlace

Website: aminayonis.com

Location: London (United Kingdom)

Words used to describe her: Intelligent, creative, organised, articulate, informative, calming

Things to check out on her YouTube channel: I really loved her “Bullet-journal 2019 set-up” video because it allowed her to show off her impressive drawing and sketching skills.

Shahd Batal (Beauty & Life-style vlogger) shahd batal

YouTube Channel: Shahd Batal

Instagram: @shahdbatal

Twitter: @ShahdBatal

Location: USA

Words used to describe her: Independent, articulate, brave, elegant, smart

Things to check out on her YouTube channel: Her “Shai with Shahd” vlog series is where she sits down (with beverage in hand) to discuss her thoughts and opinions on various topics. e.g. anxiety, self-love, friendships, relationships.

Well as my blog is about music after all, I thought it would be good to sign-off with a song recommendation…so as a dedication to Muslim Women’s Day ’19 I have chosen, “I’ll Be The King” by American rapper, Neelam Hakeem.

Also if you want to read about other MWD related content then, please check out my 27.03.17 post 🙂 XxX

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE of… Indie

Right guys, to kick off the new blog series, I thought it would be good to start with a playlist of all my favourite indie songs, be them old, new and also the ones that I always make a mental note to self-request when all I want to listen to is INDIE, INDIE, INDIE!!!

  1. Foals- The Orient
  2. Swim Deep- She Changes the Weather
  3. Feeder- Bitter Glass/Pushing The Senses/Just The Way I’m Feeling
  4. Catfish and the Bottlemen- Pacifier/Kathleen/Hourglass/Homesick
  5. Hard-fi- Hard To Beat
  6. Glass Animals- Youth
  7. The Kooks- Matchbox/Naive
  8. The Wombats- Let’s Dance to Joy Division/Moving to New York
  9. Circa Waves- Young Chasers/Stuck In My Teeth
  10. Arctic Monkeys- R U Mine?/The View From The Afternoon
  11. Bloc Party- Pioneers
  12. Everything Everything- Cough Cough
  13. The Killers- Mr Brightside
  14. Metronomy- The Look
  15. Yuck- Get Away
  16. Bombay Bicycle Club- Shuffle
  17. The Vaccines- Dream Lover
  18. Two Door Cinema Club- This is the Life/What You Know/Something Good Can Work (pretty much every song from the “Tourist History” album).

The indie genre has gifted us with some truly incredible pieces of music, so please feel free to leave suggestions of any other songs that deserve a spot in this particular playlist!!! 🙂

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE OF…

Right guys, so the nature of this particular post is just to announce that I will be starting a blog series!!! 🙂

I don’t know why I didn’t think to start one sooner as many blogs use them to put the spotlight on a particular topic or to group together posts which have a common theme.

However it was not until I read Vix Meldrew’s blogging tips for 2019 that I got the inspiration to create a series of my own.

So the name of my blog series will be called “Down the Rabbit Hole of…” because each post will include a playlist of all the songs I have listened to after spending way too many hours on YouTube. I don’t know if this happens to you as well but after a while do you find yourself only listening to songs from one type of genre?

Well there you have it, my new blog series will include playlists of genre-specific music. So if that sounds up your street then please join me “Down the Rabbit Hole of…Rock…Indie…Grime…RnB to just name a few.

XxX  🙂

*Vix Meldrew is an incredible blogger whose frank and funny posts will make you laugh out loud, reflect, learn something new and laugh out loud again.

I met Daley!!!

When you type “Daley” into Google, the sites that come up are mostly related to British diver, Tom Daley. However, flame-haired singer “Daley” (whose full name is Gareth Daley) is another Daley that the UK needs to get behind.

Years ago now, I remember watching Wretch 32 perform the song “Long Way Home” on Later with Jools Holland. For this particular song, he was joined on stage by Daley whose chorus perfectly complemented Wretch 32’s raw and hard-hitting verses. After that episode of “Jools”, Daley’s voice and certainly his look had left an impression on my mind so I downloaded his “Those who Wait” EP. This EP features “Alone Together“, the track he did with Marsha Ambrosius which has become one of his most successful songs and is definitely a fan favourite!!! Hailing from Manchester (England), the home-grown talent has also made sweet music with artists such as Jessie J (Remember Me), Pharrell Williams (Look Up) and the Gorillaz (Doncamatic).

Daley has already got a debut album (Days & Nights) under his belt and he has just recently released his second called ” The Spectrum.” So fingers crossed he will be touring soon* me thinks*, and guess what he is…but all the dates that I have seen are only in the States 😦 Across the pond, Daley has a huge following of fans and rightly so because his voice is beautiful, full of soul and he hits those high notes like the pro he is!!! His music is adored in the United States and the love that he receives out there is much more than in the UK. As much as it saddens me that I don’t know when he will next make an appearance on home-soil*, I’m glad that he is making a name for himself in the USA.

 

Daley

Daley rocking his curly bouffant and shades!!!

The first single off his latest album is called, “Until the Pain is Gone” and it features Jill Scott. I can’t wait to hear the other songs off this record because I know they are gonna be spectacular!!! XxX

*Okay scratch that, I’ve just found out that Daley is going on a World Tour and he will be coming to Europe, America and the UK!!!! 🙂


Right guys, I have decided to give this blog post some R & R* treatment *Repackaged and Re-published, and you will see why below:

After a year, since he first announced he was going on tour, I finally saw Daley perform live at one of his UK shows in Manchester last month. Due to post-postponements and dates being re-scheduled, his show had to be pushed back from May to December, however it was definitely worth the wait.

It was at the gig, whilst I was singing word-for-word to all his songs that it dawned on me that Daley was the first artist that I had discovered right at the beginning of their musical career. As you see, I’m usually that person who learns about a singer/band once they have released their second album and then I have to go back and delve into their back catalogue. However, with Daley I had followed his musical journey in a prospective fashion rather than retrospective…what an achievement!!!

My two main highlights of the show were when he sang a beautiful rendition of, “Those Who Wait” from his mixtape of the same name as it took me back to when I first listened to it. Whilst the other moment that stood out for me, although sombre was when Daley performed “The Fabric” a heart-breaking song which is a dedication to his close friend/manager, Richard Antwi who passed away quite suddenly. Hearing it live made me feel quite emotional, especially when he cried out,”Thank you for all that you’ve done for me, for me”as I could hear how strongly he meant those words of gratitude.

daley spectrum cropped

The Daley that got away

Also before going to the gig in December, I printed off the original version of this post (everything above the horizontal line) with the hope that if I managed to speak to Daley at the gig, then I could give it to him. It was a pretty optimistic move, but guess what guys it actually did happen because he put on a meet & greet after the show. So I’m really hoping that he got the chance to read the post 🙂 From our brief conservation, Daley came across as a polite and down-to-earth guy and said he was looking forward to spending some time with his family/friends for the Christmas holidays (His Manchester show was his last gig of 2018!!!)

daley and me

Me and Daley

Last of all I just want to say a huge thank you to my cousin/best friend who came along with me to the show and took the photos that you will see in this R&R post XxX

“Good things come to those who wait.”

Ari Lennox.

Wow what can I say about Ari Lennox… I mean she sings effortlessly and her voice is so classic and spell-binding!!! I first saw her on a “Genius” video where she was explaining the lyrics in her song, “Backseat.” So in Genius’ verified videos, artists may choose to simply read the lyrics of their songs or sing them. Personally I prefer it so much more when artists choose to sing and showcase their live vocals- which is what Ari Lennox did 🙂 From the video, I found her to be really funny and if you follow her on instagram (@arilennox) you will know what I mean.

These are my favourite songs from Ari Lennox at the moment: “Whipped Cream“, “Night Drive“, “Pedigree” and “Shea Butter” ft J. Cole.

 

ari lennox

Ari Lennox

Your Teeth in My Neck

I’m sure you guys know by now, that I’m not the most consistent of bloggers (Although, I am trying to change that I promise). It can sometimes take me weeks or even months to get a post published. Therefore you should be happy to know, that this current post has only been brewing for a matter of days. After hearing Kali Uchis’ new song, “Your Teeth in My Neck” I knew that I couldn’t just sit around and not talk about it. The song first came on in the car, when me and my sister were listening to the radio (BBC Radio 1 of course). As soon as the song had finished playing, the melody of the chorus was already stuck in my head…VERY CATCHY INDEED!!! However, my only criticism of “Your Teeth in My Neck” is that I wish it was longer than 3 minutes and 7 seconds (yep- I just can’t get enough of such an amazing tune!!!)

The song reminds me a little of The Internet’s “Dontcha” because of its funky and groovy sound. And both definitely strike me as tracks that would sound perfect in the Summertime.

Last month, Kali Uchis released, “Isolation” her highly anticipated debut album, which I know many of her fans were eagerly waiting for her to drop. So far I have only listened to, “Your Teeth in My Neck”, “After the Storm” and “Tyrant“. However, I will definitely get round to listening to the rest of the album because my brother says it is, “really, really, good.” And from the little I’ve heard, it’s not hard to believe that at all.

*On a side note…I think Lion Babe may be getting ready to release a new album soon as they have brought out 3 new songs in the last few months- “Rockets” ft. Moe Moks, “Honey Dew” and “The Wave” ft. Leikeli47. I would probably have to say, “The Wave” is my favourite out of the three because it makes me get on my feet and dance and it also gets me in the mood for Summer!!!

27.03.17

Hey guys, you might be thinking why the title of this post is in fact a date, especially a date set in the not-so-distant-past. The true story is that I first published this post about a year ago, more a less around the time of the first Muslim Women’s Day. I remember I couldn’t quite believe that a date in the calendar (27th March) had been set aside to celebrate Muslim women and their achievements (Happy Days!!!). However for some reason unbeknownst to me, my original post (27.03.17) disappeared from my blog and ended up in my drafts. I don’t quite know why this happened- but I was thinking that maybe somebody reported it and that it had to be taken down. It’s funny because this was the first time I had written a post which touched on topics to do with faith and religion. Anyway coincidental or otherwise…I have decided to re-package and publish the post again…In my original post, I spoke about Mona Haydar and her song, “Hijabi.” Another song of hers that I like is “Dog” ft Jackie Cruz, in which she raps about sleazy and inappropriate men and calls them out as dogs. At the end of the video, two statistics flash up on the screen, “1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime” and “In the time it took to watch this video, 27 women in the US have been assaulted or abused.”

This year the theme of Muslim Women’s Day was about women standing up to violence, which is a campaign that I fully support and hope will continue to raise awareness on an issue that unfortunately affects many women across different cultures, backgrounds and countries.

Please see below for the original (27.03.17) post:

“I thought Monday 27th March 2017, was just like any other day, but oh how wrong I was!!! This date actually marked Muslim Women’s Day…whaat I couldn’t believe my eyes!!! Had there been others that I had missed??? No, today marked the first ever one!!! A day that celebrates the achievements of muslim women and places them at the forefront…could not have come at a better time.

The brains behind this awesome campaign came from MuslimGirlwhich is a new favourite website of mine. Even though “muslim” women are the target audience, the website is great because it discusses a variety of contemporary issues that are relatable to all women.

Thanks to MuslimGirl, I discovered the artist/poet, Mona Haydar whose song Hijabi (Wrap my hijab) was released on the 27.03.17. When I gave it a listen, I loved everything about it from the lyrics, to the background music and the way Mona raps over a slick beat. The song is very much a pro-hijab anthem which champions the women who choose to wear the religious veil. It is also unashamedly feminist with lyrics like, “Make a feminist planet, women haters get banished, covered up or not don’t ever take us for granted.”

Despite what people might think about the hijab or what it represents, Mona makes it clear that she will still continue to wear her headscarf.

“What that hair look like, bet that hair look nice? How long your hair is, you need to get yo life…”

“So even if you hate it, I still wrap my hijab, wrap my hijab, wrap my hijab…”

The hijab is like the dress code for muslim women and it symbolises modesty, obedience and faith not oppression and lack of freedom…so please don’t get it twisted.

I have so much admiration and respect for those who choose to wear the hijab because by doing so, people automatically know what religion they practise. It’s like wearing a T-shirt that says, “Look at me, I am a muslim.”

In our current climate, muslims are unfortunately paying the price for the actions of a minority. Muslims are being branded as “terrorists” and face being assaulted by those who actually believe this to be true…For this reason, I have even more respect for the women who choose to “wrap their hijabs” before leaving their homes.”

 

mona haydar

Mona Haydar

Muslim Women's Day 2018

Muslim Women’s Day 2018

Easy LAUV

I know I go on and on about discovering new songs on *Youtube…but also just sitting down to watch music channels is another way in which I’ve found out about fresh new artists and talent. Tinie Tempah (Pass Out), Justin Nozuka (My Heart is Yours), Drake (Successful) were all once names that I first came across when their videos played on a music channel.

Most recently, I can now add Lauv to the list after his bright and cheerful music video for  “I Like Me Better” caught my eye when I was flicking through the music channels. I really like the positive energy of the song and how he sings about being in a relationship with someone who brings out the best in him. However, despite it being catchy and upbeat, I couldn’t quite connect with the song for some reason. And therefore I was left feeling a little undecided about Lauv at this stage. It wasn’t until I heard, “Easy Love” that he completely won me over. The song is very much the definition of calm and relaxing rnb, and I particularly love the melody of the verses and the tranquil sounds of the instruments in the background.

Lauv

Lauv

So there you have it…a perfect example of why it’s good to give people a second chance…alright Lauv you can stay in my good books 😉

*YouTube is like a fountain of new music. 

The Year of the K

This year I have come across some amazing acts and funnily enough all their names have started with the letter “K”.

First there’s Kehlani who I spoke about in my last post (click here)

kehlani 2

Kehlani

Then there’s Kelela who I caught on an episode of “Later with Jools Holland.” Her performance of “LMK” was both stunning and sophisticated.

kelela

Kelela

And last but not least, there is Kali Uchis. Her song “Tyrant” popped up in my list of recommended videos after watching one too many Jorja Smith videos. So I gave it a listen and was greeted by the soothing sound of a piano and Kali Uchis’ hypnotising vocals. I love the chorus, especially the line, “Keep spinnin’ me ’round (and ’round) x4.” The slow tempo of the song is perfect for winding those hips round and round and round and round. If you don’t believe me just take a look at the music video as Kali Uchis does just that. She is an artist that is very much in demand and has featured on tracks with the Gorillaz, Daniel Caesar, Miguel and Tyler, The Creator.

kali uchis

Kali Uchis

For me, 2017 was definitely the “Year of the K” and I’m hopeful that Kehlani, Kelela and Kali Uchis will have more great music to offer us in 2018 !!! 😉